Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Elf on the Shelf: How I am Overcoming My Phobia for the Sake of My Children

"I am going to murder you...tehehehe."

My introduction to The Elf on the Shelf came when we received the thing for a present. I had no idea what it was. As my mother-in-law explained to Eldest that the elf would keep an eye on his behavior and report to Santa nightly, I examined the drawing of an adorable elf on the box. Then I opened the cover to find the freakiest damn thing I had ever seen.

Swallowing a scream, I slammed the lid closed and threw the satanic creature away from me. (In my defense, I tried to chuck it across the room in the most grateful way possible.)  Luckily, Christmas had passed and we were able to tuck the box away in the basement. I had an entire year for Eldest to forget about the tradition I had hoped to never start. And he did…for a while.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Ain't No Dinky Little Holiday

Christmas was different back when we were DINKs (Dual Income No Kids). During our DINKy holidays The Husband and I had plenty of time to prepare for the festivities, plenty of energy to execute the great plans we thought up, and plenty of money to fund them. Now we have kids. Therefore, we have essentially no time, energy, or money to spare. After we clean up, keep our offspring alive, and buy chicken nuggets there are very few resources left to expend on Christmas.

Friday, September 20, 2013

School Shmool: Tales of an Epic Preschool Fail

I have a little story to share with you. Once upon a time, there was a little boy. Because of the vibrant color of his hair, he was called Red. Red liked to run and jump. He liked to race and holler. Red did not like to sit or wait. He did not like to be told what to do. Red especially did not like to be told to sit and wait.

One day Red’s mother took him to a place called preschool. Red recognized the place! He remembered running down the halls chasing after his friend. Red and his friend used to tell each other jokes and laugh and laugh. Sometimes the teacher would separate them, but that was okay. They had so much fun!

Red waited excitedly for his friend to arrive. He was getting impatient. Where was he? Before Red caught sight of his friend, the teacher called him to the classroom. He lined up behind the other children, confident his friend would arrive soon. Finally, Red saw his friend, but he was walking into another classroom!

His friend was being silly, Red thought, pretending like he did not know where he was going. Red tugged on his mother’s sleeve to share the joke. Then Red was confused. His mommy was telling him that his friend was assigned to a different classroom. She must be in on the joke, he thought. But, no, her face looked very serious.

Red was not happy about this. He was not happy at all. Red decided that he felt grumpy about going to school and he told his mother so. He grumpily ignored her as she said encouraging things.  He tried to pull his mommy back out to the car, but she sternly told him to knock it off. Red stopped pulling, but he decided to add being scolded to the list of things he felt grumpy about.  He grumpily washed his hands, grumpily dried them, and then made his way to his spot on the rug, grumpily.

The grumpiness did not last long. Red is generally a happy and confident little boy and most bad moods pass quickly. True to his nature, he was soon making the best of the situation and the majority of the preschool day passed pleasantly enough in a blur of blocks, stories, and songs.

Red was right in the middle of building a sweet Lego creation when his teacher announced it was time for a snack. He felt so excited about snack time that he almost did not mind abandoning his partly-finished Space Trooper Scooter Mobile…almost. Then the unthinkable happened. His teacher told the class that, before the snacks would be passed out, everyone must find their seat on the rug and wait quietly to be called to the snack tables.


Red was outraged. More sitting? More waiting? Red did not like to sit. He did not like to wait. Red especially did not like to be told to sit and wait.

What did Red do? Did he yell? Did he ignore the teacher and continue to build with Lego?


Red went to his space on the carpet. Red sat quietly. He communicated his displeasure with the situation peacefully, but communicate his displeasure he surely did.

Red shat his pants.

Red said “I shit on your quiet-on-the-carpet-time” in the best way he knew how—by literally shitting on the carpet. Quietly.

Unfortunately, this little story is no fairytale. It is true. And it happened to me. Red is the fruit of my womb. Yay me.

We have since removed Red from preschool. The Husband and I decided that Red could use a little time to mature to a level where he can more appropriately handle the “rigors” of four-year-old preschool curriculum. So Red gets a gap year. The hope is that, when he returns to preschool next year, he will have found a way to express his frustration that does not involve feces. If not, we are going to have to look into schooling options where it is considered “normal” to communicate with poo. Possibly the primate center at the zoo. I wonder if they have a football team?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Doing Everything A Spider Can...To Drive His Mommy Nuts

Has anyone else noticed that phone calls from my mother lead to nothing good? This one started off like any other with talk of what the youngin’s were up to (one at school, the rest tormenting each other) and what the weather was going to be like that day (hot). And then…

“I found a Spider Man costume for Red.”

“Oh yeah?”

“I bought it…I just don’t know if I should give it to him now…or should I save it…?”

I am not sure who she thought she was kidding. We both knew darn well she was giving that kid a Halloween costume in August. And I knew that I was going to have to peel the smelly thing off of his red-headed little body once it was so stiff with crust that he could no longer bend his joints.

Red was psyched about the Spiderman costume. He had it on faster than you can say “Peter Parker.” The squirming began immediately. Next came the whining.  The tears followed shorty thereafter.

The suit was way too big. Children clearly have no concept of a first world problem. I had to talk him down from the ledge before I could even suggest a solution. It took 10 minutes to calm him down enough so that I could roll up his pant legs and only 30 seconds for my neatly rolled rolls to unroll. Cue squirming, whining, and crying.

Luckily, (and by “luckily” I mean to refer you back to my first sentence where I pointed out that my mother is trouble) my mom was able to rubberband his costume to his feet. Somehow THIS made the kid happy. That is, until he started to lose feeling in his feet.

Red and I agreed to a schedule of rubberband “on” time alternated with periods of “off” time in order to allow blood flow back to his feet. Time flies when you are having that much fun and soon it was time to meet Eldest at the bus.

Does anyone know what is the appropriate shoe for a Spiderman costume? Because I do not. What I do know for certain is that none of the pairs of shoes Red put on were it. By the 152nd pair I had to insist he leave the crocs that change color in the sun on or Eldest was going to end up riding the bus all the way back to school…again.

The most memorable part of waiting for Eldest’s bus was that it was not memorable at all. I was standing next to a three-foot-tall Spiderman—in August—and no one looked at me funny. Not the neighbor waiting for her daughter, not the bus driver, no one. Has the neighborhood come to expect this type of thing from our household? I am not going to think too much about that.

I was just counting down the seconds until bathtime. He had to take the stupid costume off for a bath, right? I figured the worst case scenario was that I would not have to futz with the rubberbands while he was in the tub. But really I was hoping that he would forget all about Spiderman alltogether while he was asleep. That could happen, right? Lie to me. I like it.

When bathtime finally came, Red stripped off his beloved Spiderman costume to reveal that he was bare-butt neked under the thing. And then he announced that he was wearing the Spiderman costume to bed. That is something that I really love about Red. He knows how to make a bad situation worse, and then really make it bad.

“You can wear the costume, but you CANNOT wear the rubberbands.”

“Why not?”

“Because they will cut off your circulation and your feet will fall off.”

“No they won’t.”

“Yes, they will.”

“No they won’t.”

“Yes. They. Will. I read an article on the internet about a little boy just your age who wore his Spiderman costume to bed and left his rubberbands on and his feet fell off.”  

“Well…I read on the internet that he wore his rubberbands and he was fine.”

Touche little redhead, touche.
I guess even Spiderman needs his mom to tell him to "knock it off and go to bed." So I did. Without rubberbands on his feet. Way to go Spidermommy!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

That's Okay, I Didn't Want To Go Anyway

I am having one of those weeks where I am so glad to be a stay-at-home mom. The Husband, that poor man, has to travel around Europe for an entire week with only one meeting each day to occupy his time. Lucky for me, I don’t have a real job, so I get to stay at home with the three kids and two dogs.

While he was suffering through an 8 hour plane ride sans children, I was relishing the aftermath of Baby Girl eating too much blue frosting over the holiday weekend. I surely wouldn’t want to trade scrubbing smurf poo off of Baby Girl for in-flight movies and unlimited soft drink service. He was so sad about  missing the whole thing that he actually had to take a nap.

His first day in Dussesldorf was probably the hardest for him. He had most of the day free with nothing to do besides think about how much he missed his family. He tried to cheer himself up by tooling around on a rental bike, taking in the sights, and looking for another ginormous soft pretzel, but I don’t think that can compare to hearing the sweet sound of Eldest saying, “it is just not the same without Daddy, but I am glad that you are still here working for me.” <sniff, sniff>

Each night The Husband goes out to a leisurely dinner with a few colleagues. Luckily, I don’t have to sit down and eat a meal. I grab a couple oreos before I take Baby girl upstairs to read bedtime stories. While the love of my life suffers through adult conversation, Red helps me with his sister by stomping up the stairs and screaming important information such as there is a bunny in the backyard and it is eating grass.

After dinner, The Husband comes back to his empty hotel room where he watches a little tv before bed. Thank the heavens I do not have to endure that! Each and every night since he left, a thunderstorm has rolled in just as the boys were ready to get into bed. It has given us all something to talk about. If they had fallen asleep on time I would have been all alone with nothing but a book and a glass of wine to pass the empty evening.

I know for a fact that The Husband is missing the dogs. The Fuzzy Wonder is 12 years old and has always been his baby. He is in charge of letting her out in the middle of the night to take care of her senior bladder issues. Having him gone has given me the opportunity to bond with Fuzzy several times instead of sleeping. I bet The Husband is feeling lonely in that big hotelnbed without the dog barking sharply in his ear.

The Husband likes to begin his day with a nice long walk. Usually, he has Rescue Mutt for a walking budding, but I get to walk her this week. While he is all alone, strolling down the cobbled lanes of Lyon in the early hours of the morning, the smell of baking bread wafting in the breeze, I am walking Rescue Mutt in loops around the house before the kids wake up. She really appreciates my efforts and shows her gratitude by shitting in the baby’s room as soon as we come inside.

I was getting to excited by all the fun I have been having, so I hid out in the bathroom to write this. I did not bring the power cord and the low battery warning suggests that it is time to finish up. I am feeling a little deprived since I have not refilled a sippy cup in a couple of minutes anyway. Fortunately for The Husband, he comes home in two days. I am going to thank him for the chance to experience all of these wonderful moments by letting him take care of our little angels for the entire weekend. That way he can have his own opportunity to make some wonderful memories. I am a giver.


Monday, April 29, 2013

House Rule #57: All time capsules must be buried outside

The kids were in bed. The husband had Chicago Fire cued up on Hulu. All I needed was a cozy blanket to make the evening complete.

“Now where did that blanket go…what is THAT?!!!”

I found my cozy blanket alright. I found it balled up on the corner of the sectional sofa with the following note taped to it:

“Honey? What is this?” I asked the Husband.

“A time capsule. Der.”

“Well…can I use the blanket?”

“Is it 2030?”


“There’s your answer.”

“Are you kidding me?”


What did I do? I left it there. I grumbled about how time capsules are supposed to be buried in backyards and wondered why my darling husband did not put the kibosh on the whole business when it was going down, but I left it there. I was cold, but I had the knowledge that I was being a good mom to keep me warm. Yay me.

When Eldest awoke the next morning, we had a little chat about the living-room time capsule. He was excited to tell me all about it and totally stoked at the idea of digging a hole in the backyard. In fact, he was so excited to get started that he was halfway out the door before I could tell him that he might want to find a sturdy box for the project. Not wanting to pry regarding the contents of his time capsule, though I was absolutely dying to know what he thought should be preserved for future generations, I had him describe the approximate dimensions of his treasures. I held some options up to his hands, eyeballed the fit, and found a take-and-go container that pleased him.

The next thing I knew, there was a blood-curdling scream and a 5-year-old frantically scooping up handfuls of cozy-couch blanket.

The time capsule was gone!

Privacy be darned. It was time to fess up about what might be loose, I mean, lost in my house. Eldest told me that he cut out the shape of a box from notebook paper, placed two Matchbox cars inside, and then folded and taped the box shut. He placed the time capsule on the couch, covered it with my blanket, and then added his note regarding an appropriate date for the big reveal.

Thank heavens it was not the ant farm…or worse.

However, the question remained, “Where in the sam heck does a paper and scotch tape box filled with two metal cars go?!!!”

Hours have passed. Several painful toddler interrogations have been conducted. Sadly, there are no leads. Our best guess (and by “our” I mean Eldest and by “best guess” I mean crazy idea) is that Red found the time capsule and managed to remove it without disturbing the blanket and/or note. Then Baby Girl ate the paper box before throwing the toy cars into the trash. Without leaving a trace of saliva-soaked notebook paper.

Not likely.

Although, who knows? Strange things go on around here. And I certainly have no explanations. I’m flummoxed.

Anyone with information regarding a missing notebook-paper box filled with toy cars can contact me through this website. You have some ‘splaining to do.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What's the Point? Or How the Internet Rules the World

I have a confession to make: I started this blog without a clear purpose in mind. *gasp* I know! Can you believe it? I have been writing about whatever random thoughts pop into my head and feeling pretty good about it. Then the other day I came across an article about how to make your blog better. Hmmm…did I want to make my blog better? Sure! Why not? If you are going to do something, do it right, right? I think someone famous said something along those lines. I read the article and one of the tips was to define the purpose of your blog. Oh crapidy crud. To make matters worse, the second tip was to then figure out how that purpose makes you unique. Double crapidy crud.

I started to look objectively at my blog. I suppose it is a “mommy blog” since I write about my kids a lot. I try to be funny, though I hesitate to call it a “humor blog” since that makes me feel a lot of pressure to be funny. Ugh. Too hard. I decided that I am just fine without a clearly defined purpose. What does the internet know anyway? Moving on…

And I did, or so I thought. Except that I was hit with a massive case of writer’s block. Every now and then an idea would come to me and quickly be gone again. I tried so very hard to hold onto one of them. I was like a lonely little old lady trying to convince the ideas to stay awhile. “Have a seat. Can I make you something? Tea? Coffee? I have some leftover chicken nuggets I can reheat for you. No? You have to go? Can we schedule a lunch sometime? I have my calendar right here. Well, okay. You’re busy. I understand. Call me! Anytime!” Despite my best efforts I had no takers. Not a single idea stuck around long enough to form into a blog entry or even a tidbit to post on Facebook. I was going to have to figure out what I was doing with this here blog. *sigh*

Since reading that “helpful” article that caused my creative juices to congeal into a blob of unproductivity, three things have happened that I want to share with you.

First, we had Red tested and found out that he, like Eldest, has a high IQ. He is gifted.

Second, I noticed that there is a lot of confusion about what it means for a kid to be gifted.

Third, I have realized that writing helps me deal with the crazy my kids chuck at me. AND that 98.76% of their particular brand of mommy-madness-inducing shenanigans can be attributed to the fact that they have high IQs.

So, what is my purpose in writing this blog? To put it simply, my kids are wicked smaht and writing about how that messes with our family life is the only thing keeping me from going completely batshit crazy. Does this make me unique? Hmmm…maybe.

If the internet it to be believed, and I think we have already established that it is (did you not just read how the internet sapped my ability to write because I ignored its advice??!!!), a lot of moms do not tell anyone that their kid is gifted. I know that I don’t. Unless it is absolutely necessary, (for instance, if my kid is pacing in circles and flapping his arms while explaining why Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet instead of climbing on the monkeybars) I keep that tidbit to myself. Why? Because it rarely goes well.

                Other Mom: Are you going to be in the morning or afternoon preschool class next year?

                Me: Uh…um…actually, we, um, are going to have him start kindergarten next year.

                Other Mom Number 1: <brow furrows> How old is he?

Me: Well…he will only be four, but, you know, he is, um, gifted and we think he will like the challenge.

Other Mom Number 2: But he will be the youngest one in the class! Why push him?

Me: He is already reading and…uh, he WANTS to go…and…

Other Mom Number 1: You know, we thought about doing that with our older daughter.  She is super smart. And she LOVES to read. But I just couldn’t stand the thought of her leaving for college a year early.

             Me: <smile and nod>

Frankly, I don’t like to feel like a schmuck, so I have kept it to myself. But now I am done. My kids are who they are and I am so proud of the sweet and funny little people that they are. And a big part of who they are is gifted. I don’t brag about my kid’s IQ. I am too busy trying to get him to keep his socks on in public. (Gifted kids tend to have sensory issues that make them massively sensitive to things like seams and tags.) I also don’t think my kid is better than yours because he can read at a 5th grade level in kindergarten. I am too busy driving to the public library every day to pick out new books because he already read the 15 we picked out the day before.

I have two children who are “officially” gifted. As in, they were given an IQ test and they scored much higher than other kids their age. I also have a third child who, I would bet the farm, is also gifted. She is too young to test, so how can I be so sure? Because the biggest, most obvious, and most challenging part of giftedness is the behavior. Oh god help me, the behavior. <shudder> If you do not have a gifted person in your life this may surprise you. I know it surprised me. Gifted kids are NOT merely children who have a gift for the book learnin’ in the same way others are great at baseball or the violin. They have these brains that simply work differently than the rest of ours.

You may have already figured out that I hate the term “gifted.” I think it confuses the issue of what I deal with as a parent every day. So I am inventing a new term. I am calling my kids SMART. It stands for Sensitive, Mindful, Asynchronous, Resourceful, and Trying.

Sensitive: Pearl S. Buck explained this part of my kids’ personality better than I ever could. “To him... a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.” Yup, that sounds about right.

Mindful: They are hyperaware of what is going on, the moods of those around them, the tiny cupcake sprinkle on the ground, the man walking his dog we passed three blocks back…all at the same time. Red can be watching tv, looking through a book, futzing around with a toy, drinking a sip of juice, and still ask me what that weird noise is. I have learned not to argue anymore. He really can hear the dehumidifier in the basement kick on with all of that other business going on.

Asynchronous: This explains how my son can add fractions, but can’t tie his shoe. My Baby Girl has a huge vocabulary, but she is not walking. SMART kids are not able to do everything early or well. You should see Eldest try to throw a ball. It hurts Mommy to watch.

Resourceful: Think “outside the box?” There is no box able to contain their thoughts. If they had a box at one point, they broke it down, carved it into little pieces, and used the shreds of cardboard to build a spaceship that was actually able to orbit the Earth, but did not survive reentry, so they decided that maybe next time they should use a non-paper-based product.

Trying: It is tough raising kids. I have never heard anyone say different. They try your patience and your sanity. SMART kids do all of the usual things like dump LEGOs all over the floor and wrestle in the kitchen while I am trying to make a meal they won’t eat. They also test my intelligence. I think all kids go through the “knock-knock joke” stage where they tell you joke after horrible joke. My Eldest wants me to explain why each one is funny or not. Can you tell me why a joke is funny? Yeah. Think about that.

There. I did it! I defined a focus for this blog: Mom barely holds on to sanity through sharing the ridiculous, and often not-talked-about, side of raising SMART kids. Are you happy internet? Did I maybe earn some bonus points for creating the acronym? Now can you please remove the block in my head and let the ideas party again? Because the boys just got the ants for their ant farms in the mail and I think I am going to need an outlet to deal with that debacle waiting to happen.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nonsensical Sense and Illogical Logic: Why It Is Tough Raising Redheads

I am worried about Red…so very, very worried. Not because he is currently running around the house in his underwear. I can see how you might think that would trouble me, but you would be wrong. No, I am worried because he was able to convince me this was a good idea. Sometimes he makes so much darn sense out of utter nonsense that I fear, without the proper care and feeding, he is going to grow up to be a shyster. You know, like one of those guys who cozies up to nice old ladies and then removes them of their lifesavings. I don’t claim to know everything about this mothering thing, but it seems like that would be a bad outcome.

The other day Husband had done a sweep of the house and filled a bag with crap to return to the library. Red rummaged around and pulled out a DVD called “Lots & Lots of Fire Trucks.” (If you have not seen it, you really should check it out. There are a lot of fire trucks in it. Also, it was produced somewhere in the 80’s. Need I say more?) “I love this DVD!” exclaimed Red. Then his face fell when he realized it was in the bag to be returned. “Why is THIS going back?” Red demanded.

“I know you love it. That is how we ended up with two copies. We are going to take one copy back and you can watch the other copy,” I said. I thought I made a pretty compelling case. I really should know better by now. Red’s only response was to furrow his eyebrows at me. I knew full well that his father had lost the battle while in the library, but I still attempted to explain.  “You can only watch one at a time. We do not need two of them.”

“Two is better than one.”


Well, he got me there.

And it isn’t just what he says, it is the WAY he says it that really gets ya. Take the evening I was reading him stories before bed. He was snuggled up against me, warm and cozy. All those great mothering hormones were coursing through me. When I was good and high on three-year-old boy sweetness he said, “I want a giraffe.”

“A giraffe, huh?” I replied, knowing I had to win this one. We cannot afford to feed a giraffe.  “That sounds like fun, but where would it sleep?”

“On my bottom bunk,” he said.

“Hmmm…I don’t know about that…I don’t think a giraffe could climb the stairs—”

“I will take SUCH good care of it. I will feed it and walk it and pet it.”

“Well, it does sound like you know that pets are a big responsibility…”

“I will even let my brother pet it.”

“Aww, that is so sweet.”

“And I will let my sister pet it.”

“Oh, you are such a sweet boy!”

See that? See how he did that? This was a brilliantly executed plan. He got me with my guard down. Then he smacked me upside the head with taking responsibility and brotherly love.  I WANTED to give him a giraffe. If he had me seriously considering a pet giraffe, can you imagine how many cupcakes he has convinced me to let him eat today? Let’s just say more than I should have given him, but just this side of less than would call for a trip to the ER.

So, why is Red running around in his underpants? Because he was putting on pants and got distracted. Why am I happy? Because he hates to wear pants. Every day for the past couple of months there has been a battle because he wants to wear shorts. Then he came up with the idea that he can wear shorts at home then change into pants before he leaves the house. Brilliant! It is now common to hear “Do I have to put pants on?” asked in our house several times a day. I am so happy that he is going out into the world dressed for the weather that I do not even care that he drops trou as soon as he gets to the door. You read that correctly. I am happy that my child moons the neighborhood multiple times each day. That is the power Red.

Lock up your daughters and elderly. None of us are safe.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Baby Girl

I do not write all that much about my Baby Girl, do I? One reason is that it is easier to write about the boys. The things they say are hilarious. I type the crazy that comes from their mouths, post it to the blog, and I look like a comedic genius. Done and done. But Baby Girl is only 9 months old, so I actually have to do some work to write about her, find the words to do her justice… Phew!  I am exhausted at the thought.

There is other reason, besides my laziness, that I do not write about her much. She is my baby girl. Mine. And I want to keep her to myself. Especially since my husband is now an “altered animal” as the veterinarians say and she is my last. (Although Eldest did have a classmate with a baby sister to prove that these things are not always the permanent solution we think they are.)

Instead of writing about her, I have been spending my time waiting on her hand and food while enjoying that I am the center of her world. (Yes, she has a father, brothers, grandparents, etc. who adore her every hiccup, but I prefer to ignore that and focus on me. Just go with me on this one, please?) When Baby Girl wanted to go anywhere, I took her. When she needed something, I figured out what it was and gave it to her. Now all that is all starting to change. Baby Girl began crawling. She pops up unexpectedly in rooms where I know I did not put her. She says “no” and calls me “Mum Mum.” It was a bittersweet moment for me today when I heard her say my name (sweet) and then bust in on me in the bathroom (bitter).

Whether I like it or not, my baby is growing up. She is showing her personality more and more and needing me less and less. I guess that means that I have more time to post her shenanigans online for all the world to see. Lucky for me, she is showing all the signs of following in her brothers’ hilarious footsteps. This baby is a trip!

First, I have to say that Baby Girl is beautiful, with blond hair, blue eyes, and chubby little cheeks that beg to be smooched. But just in case there was any chance of getting a swelled head about it, she cut her canine teeth. ONLY her canine teeth. As she babbles away to her dolly, you see this adorable baby. Then she catches sight of her mommy and gives a big smile. “Oh look, a vampire.”

She loves to give hugs. Baby Girl crawls over and flings herself at your feet. As she is clutching your ankles and rubbing her face on your toes you realize it is a hug. This is particularly amusing when she tries to hug her BFF, That Baby In The Mirror. “Bitch just head butted me! Oh well, maybe I should try to hug her again. Ow.” Tehehe. Swearing babies are funny.

Baby Girl rarely cries. Eldest tried some sort of 5-year-old acrobatics, failed, and smacked heads with her. He was weeping openly and she just looked confused. “I don’t think that was what he meant to do. Why is a lump forming on my head?” Don’t worry. She cries when she gets shots, so she doesn’t have that weird “superhero” disease where they don’t feel any pain. She is just happy.

Don’t get the idea that my girl is a pushover, however. She has a thing about her mom and her food. If one of the boys is on my lap she crawls between us and issues a firm “nein” emphasized by a hand to the face. (I wonder how she learned German. The internet?) And there was the time that she cried until her daddy gave her his cheeseburger. Once he handed it over she was all smiles.

There. I have shared a little bit about my sweet Baby Girl with you and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. As a matter of fact, I kind of liked it.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013 Style

Happy New Year!
2012 was a bit of a stinker. I hate to say that because my beautiful Baby Girl was born. However, I also had to attend three funerals, cram my lively family into my parents' house for over a week when our power was knocked out, and my dad got a pacemaker...all in the last three months.
That is a lot for anyone to take. Still, I think I need to learn to handle these things better. Pitching a fit rarely makes anything better, am I right? With the beginning of a new year, it seems a perfect time to resolve to do things differently. The problem is that I am just not that great at keeping resolutions. I sort of lose focus.
Look--the boys are watching Car Toons! I love it when the alien says “daggum.” Tehehe. What was I talking about?
Luckily, I came across a couple of articles about choosing one word to focus on. Instead of making a complex resolution like "life a fuller life" or "join the circus" I can pick one word to tuck in my pocket and pull it out whenever I need it. Even I can keep focus on one word, right? Sure!
But what word to pick? Others chose words like trust or balance or patience. Patience sounded great. I definitely need more Patience. I mulled this over for a couple of days and realize that it would not work for me.
The problem with choosing Patience is that there is nothing to DO. Patience is an absence…of yelling, of irritation, of chucking Hotwheels at the stupid dishwasher. What the heck am I supposed to do instead?! Think about what happens when you tell your kid not to touch the Christmas tree. What do they do? They circle that tree just waiting for you to look away. They become like little junkies looking for their next fix. It is all they can think about. There is a reason that recovering addicts learn to knit. Like kids and crackheads, I need a task to focus on.

Breathe. My word is breathe. I can do that. I do it all the time. I am doing it right now. When I don't know what to do, I will breathe. If I want to yell or run away, I will breathe instead. Inhale. Exhale. Simple.
When Eldest starts to cry because the  Lego refuses to snap into place I will breathe. Every time Red whines for juice when I have 157 other things to do I will breathe. When Baby Girl demolishes a train track and the boys freak out I will breathe. What should I do when my mother-in-law asks me again why I do not want to go back to work? Breathe. What about when I freeze my arse off searching the minivan for Red's train only to find out that Husband had it in his coat? Breathe. (Well, first I will try to set Husband on fire with my Jedi mind powers. Eventually I will remember that I do not have the ability to start fires with my mind and then I will breathe.)

I can do this. I can breathe. You can do it too. We can do it together. Breathing is an appropriate response to any problem. Unless you are underwater. Then you should wait a little while. Once you resurface you can breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Ahhh...